WebKit and the BlackBerry Browser: Ask Us!


As previewed at Mobile World Congress, the new BlackBerry® Browser will be based on the WebKit rendering engine. This change will enhance the browsing experience for BlackBerry users and will enable developers to deliver rich web content and applications that take advantage of WebKit. At WES 2010, we showed a sneak peek of BlackBerry® 6 and the new WebKit-based browser, highlighting some of the enhancements that it will bring that will change the way you develop web applications for the BlackBerry® smartphone.

Now that my colleague Michael has blogged about the BlackBerry Browser development process – including the new browser’s great performance on standard HTML5 and CSS3 tests – I’d like to give you, our developer community, the chance to ask us your questions about WebKit. My colleagues and I are currently hard at work creating learning resources such as reference guides, white papers and sample code for BlackBerry 6. We are looking forward to providing our developers with helpful guidance on topics such as:

  • What can I expect from WebKit on BlackBerry?
  • How can I prepare my web content for BlackBerry 6?
  • What types of applications can I create when WebKit is ready?
  • How and where should I start?
  • How can I apply the Super Apps principles to my web applications?

Keeping the above in mind, post a comment and let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to learn about!

About Adam S.

Adam is a Team Lead on the Developer Relations Team at BlackBerry. He manages technical relationships with ISVs as well as incubating the developing community ecosystem. Adam specializes in producing applications based on web and native technologies.

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  • http://grabka.org/internet/ dariusz

    It may be a dumb question, but are emulators available for the device? Can we get CODs to try the BlackBerry Browser 6 (or whatever it's called) on OS5 devices? Testing is key.

  • J.R. Lillard

    Will WebKit be ported to OS 5 devices?

  • Tim Neil

    Hi J.R.

    Mike L posted a blog article outlining some in market devices that will receive BlackBerry 6. This will be the only way to get the Webkit browser onto your device. It is an integrated part of the BlackBerry 6 operating system and isn't an installable application that can be brought back and installed as a separate application on an existing OS 5 smartphone.

  • Tim Neil

    Hi dariusz,

    The BlackBerry 6 simulator can be downloaded from here:

    My reply for the above post should also answer your question about the availability of Webkit on existing in-market OS 5.0 smartphones

  • http://seriousmobile.wordpress.com/ Prom1

    Will the Webkit Engine improve HTML-Email experience … i.e. downloading pictures should now be truly automatic when set that way and also no more warnings for exposing our email address when doing so.

  • http://grabka.org/internet/ dariusz

    Thanks Tim, definitely helpful. I'm a little sad that OS6 doesn't seemed to be destined for the Bold 9000 considering how many people (of a certain market segment at that) have that device, but I'll see what the hackers have to offer. :)

  • http://isendemailforaliving.blogspot.com lettermansgap

    This is the burning question for me too! I have piles of customers in the financial sector who keep asking for “mobile versions” of their email newsletters. My hope is that the new email client will use webkit so that I won't have to create a separate link to a mobile version for BlackBerry users.

    • Mayank

      i have one question , i have created an application for mobile, it will run on every mobile browser.It is a kind of web-Application.i used border-radius and webkit css for making button stylish like rectangular curved. But this css is not applying for blackBerry. Do you have any solution for the same. i want to make a button with rounded corners, for blackBerry.
      Please do reply on mayanknimje87@gmail.com

  • astanley

    Hi folks, I'm happy to share that the answer is yes! HTML emails displayed within the messages application will benefit from the features and capabilities of the WebKit rendering engine.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FHQ3K262QUSUSMOWEI5XSTK74 Jamaal

    What HTML5 features are going to be supported? I specifically want to know if WebSockets will be available.

  • http://blog.mailoutinteractive.com/post/BlackBerry-phones-will-soon-be-able-to-view-HTML-email.aspx Justin

    This is a BIG deal. Kudos to BlackBerry for listening to the dev community on this and allowing users to view full HTML email.

  • http://friendfeed.com/markedwards MarkEdwards

    Will the new combination be rolled out to legacy devices, such as the Storm 2 or Bold? The ability to upgrade the OS in those devices would be very useful in some cases, but I haven't heard much as to whether this was part of the plan.

  • astanley

    Hi Mark,

    Great question. Support for in-market Smartphones was announced in an Aug 3rd press release:

    “Subject to carrier certifications in the months ahead, the new OS is expected to be available for the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700, BlackBerry® Bold™ 9650 and BlackBerry® Pearl™ 3G, as well as future BlackBerry smartphones.”


  • astanley

    Hi Jamaal,

    For full details about which HTML, JavaScript and CSS content is supported by the BlackBerry 6 browser, please see our developer documentation. These manuals & guides can conveniently be found online here:



  • sivanm

    I was disappointed by not being able to launch links from other apps in more than one tab in the browser. For example, using Twitter, I can only open one link at a time. If I open another, it will open in the same tab and displace the current page. This is not the right behavior.

  • http://twitter.com/synthmole Sivan

    Apps can't launch links in multiple tabs. All links open in the foreground tab. For example, if I'm launching links from Twitter one after another, they displace the current page and so on. So it's only possible to open one page at a time. This behavior is incorrect.

  • http://twitter.com/synthmole Sivan

    Commenting on this blog is broken on both the native BlackBerry browser and Opera Mini.

  • Toby

    I am one of those Bold 9000 owners, and I'm very disappointed that I won't be able to get the webkit blackberry browser on my phone…ever. AT&T still doesn't officially offer OS 5 for my phone…I think it's just been forgotten, and it was a great device. It's too bad, and it makes me not want to invest in another Blackberry. The memory situation has also made my phone nearly unusable even with the limited number of apps I have installed, which is another big reason I am considering switching to something else when my next upgrade opportunity rolls around.

  • Bama man

    I too have the Bold 9000 and thought it was considered a higher end model when I got it, and am terminally disappointed by AT&T and RIM lack of OS upgrades. I guess RIM has been reading that GM and Chrysler bestseller “To Heck with Existing Customers”. I will vote with my feet.

  • astanley

    Sivan, that is great feedback, thank you. I have shared this with our internal Browser Development and Product Management teams who indicated they have received similar feedback and are open to further discussion.

    Would you please submit this request for tracking (other users can vote or comment on it) through our developer issue tracker?


  • Gothic Mercy

    you can get OS5 on your bold, just type 9000M_PBr5.0.0 on google:)

  • internet marketing melbourne

    The implementation in WebKit for GIF support allocates a 32 bpp bitmap for … GIVE US GIF’S AND FILE UPLOADING IN THE BROWSER… outside of that crappy Opera browser at least. … This works on the blackberry for me. I wanted to use my G1 at the gym.. ….. Can i ask a more specific questio of the android team. internet marketing melbourne

  • Katelyn Maroney

    Ever since I have had over 100 contacts on my blackberry messanger, my status are not updating. I deleted several to have only 99 and then my status’ started to update again. Has anyone had this problem and found a way to fix it? I really want all my friends but I also want my status to update as well! HELP

  • jblive

    Will the Exchange ActiveSync protocol be supported within BIS for non-enterprise business users of Gmail Apps and Small Business Office Live Mail hosted in the newly EAS-enabled Windows Live Hotmail (Wave 4)? WLH users have been unable to access their calendars and contacts and don’t want to have to get Gmail apps accounts just to have these seemingly standard push synchronization features for a modern day OS. If EAS is adverse to BIS policy, will BIS at least increase the features it supports of known email providers including synching not only contacts, calendars, and email, but also secondary+tertiary calendars and email subfolders/labels reflecting what shows in user accounts?

  • Me

    For me the most important question is: which devices will benefit from the new browser? For example, will the new browser be available for the Bold 9700 which most of our clients are using?

  • Chandara Sam

    Can we use iScroll on BlackBerry 5, 6?
    Because I test develop using phonegap and iscroll, butl on simulator it isn’t work.

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